Security clearance times/Civilian employer attitutes

Discussion in 'Royal Naval Reserve (RNR)' started by foxtrot_oscar, Sep 30, 2006.

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  1. Firstly, how long should security clearance take to come back from the Agency responsible? I did my pre-joining fitness test nearly 12 weeks ago, it was sent off to the Agency and I could do with getting a real ID card, pay and most importantly expenses. I travel a fair distance to my RTC and now have around £250 of travel expenses outstanding (more by the week).

    Secondly, does anyone here have any experience of mentioning that they are in RNR when at job interviews? I’m talking about the public and private sector. I’m a graduate with a BSc from a university regarded as long-established and prestigious but haven’t followed my degree subject directly.
    The interview panel at one city council in northern England gave me the impression (once I had explained what RNR is – “like the TA but for the Navy, with c3000 people in itâ€) that they couldn’t hack the commitment as an employer of Reservists, whilst claiming to have TA people within their organisation. They gave me a load of grief about how I wouldn’t have time to do my 2 hours per week, the 9-5 with them and study for the professional exams involved. (I can’t say what I thought! Some people spend 2 hours per week on all sorts of things).
    My local council, for a job paying around £15k in an unrelated field, asked whether I would consider the Navy full time (which I admit to anyone I don’t really want to do – that’s what RNR is for I thought?). So no hassle for them I would have thought, just a good quick getaway at 5pm on one night per week. Do it for a couple of years and maybe study for a part time Postgrad course and make a career out of that particular field. Instead, absolutely no response to my emphasis of the benefits that being a Reserve could bring to them.
    Same lack of enthusiasm when interviewed for a job in the same field at a private company, located around a mile from my RTC.
    I applied to join RNR initially as my life was nigh-on empty and I had been to an interview at an R&D company for a job which would have involved time at sea (gave me an idea). It looked like something employers would be enthusiastic about. Something that I could be proud of, achieve something, show that I have a good level of health and fitness and won’t wimp off work because of a lack of energy and determination. The 2.4km run and swim test are prime examples.
    Is SaBRE a toothless dog with regards to these issues?
    Would anyone give the advice not to mention it at interview?
    Anyone know of any friendly employers? :) Have full clean driving licence, would be prepared to travel.
    PM me if you have any advice you want to keep off the forum for whatever reason.
  2. The Civil Service is quite good with Reserve Forces. I joined the TA about 5 years after joining the CS and all I had to do was ask permission from the HR dept. Their response was that "there were no security or personnel issues which would lead them to object". Basically if you get a posting that requires higher than average clearance then they might object if you went on ops due to what information you might have.

    As I remember I got 10 extra (paid) days leave for the TA plus an extra 5 (again paid) days for special courses so it meant that if I wanted to do a training course plus the 2 week camp I would only have to use 5 days annual leave!

    This was with the Home Office though so you might want to check if you go to another Department but I would imagine it is roughly similar.

    As far as security clearance goes it can take some time as reserve forces are not a high priority. Mine took 3 months mainly because I was born in Ireland even though I have lived here since I was 9 (am 31 now) and I had been positively vetted for a Home Office post 3 years before (and passed). There isn't a lot you can do about it other than pester your recruiting team to chase it up, however the Defence Vetting Agency, or whatever they call themselves now, take their own sweet time.

    I am looking into the RNR in London so will be going through it all again, best of luck to you.

  3. the_matelot

    the_matelot War Hero Moderator

    The DVA in York take their time over these things. It took them well over 8 months to process my DV Clearance (I'm Southern Irish) but that was the same length of time as others who got theirs at the same time who were UK nationals.
  4. Which part matelot? I was born in Dublin and lived in Coolock until I was 9. Only came over here cos my mum (who is English) didn't really like it there.

  5. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    Should be hearing soon then in my experience.

    As someone who has interviewed candidates, what any employer wants at the interview stage is someone willing to give 110% of their energies to the new job but what you're saying is that they're not going to get it! However, as you rightly say, there are many positives to be gained from the RNR. Personally, I'd spend most of the time in an interview discussing the post that will be your main career and wouldn't raise the subject of the RNR until very near the end. This way you are focussing most of your time on them and, in their eyes, introducing your part-time "hobby" almost as an after-thought (if you've impressed them so far, then they'll probably have less of a problem with the RNR) and it also gives them less time to go into their prejudices about the Reserve Forces. I've had 7 jobs in the last 21 years and have only received a seriously adverse reaction to the RNR in one of those positions (seriously adverse = P45!), the vast majority of the employers were neutral at worst, and very supportive at best.
  6. stabradop wrote: Which part matelot? I was born in Dublin and lived in Coolock until I was 9. Only came over here cos my mum (who is English) didn't really like it there.

    I'm from the Waterford / Wexford border area myself.

  7. If I were you I would send a letter to the HR Dept at said council reporting your feelings and send a copy to SABRE. On the whole there is little institutional discrimination against the RNR but there are individuals who need weeding out in a whole range of organisations. At the end of the day if they have this kind of attitude about the RNR they will probably be flying in the face of their work/life balance policy that they must have! That also should be concern. I would also be tempted to write to the local paper and tell them.

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